4th House on the Right

How To Care For Crepe Myrtle Trees – It’s Easier Than You Think

Crepe Myrtle trees are an absolutely beautiful, quintessentially Southern landscape staple. And guess what? They’re super easy to care for. That’s what this post is all about – how to care for crepe myrtle trees.

But 1st a little background storytime…

When we moved into our current home – our 4th house – we had 2 sickly oaks & a pine (I don’t like pine needles AT ALL). That combination is pretty standard in new master planned neighborhoods down here.

We immediately knew we wanted to change that for a few reasons:

  1. 3 trees were just way too many for the yard in my opinion. They’re cute when they’re small but they get huge & that was just gonna be too much for this small yard.
  2. We learned some hard lessons from having oaks in the front yard in our previous homes. Specifically:
    1. The roots can be very invasive as they mature, causing foundation problems, plumbing issues, and cracks in sidewalks & driveways.
    1. The branches can be dangerous & even deadly, especially here where we can have some pretty major storms.
  3. Because of the 1st 2 reasons, insurance companies really don’t like it when they are too close to the house.

Ask me how I know any of these things. DH & I know little to nothing about trees – other than what we like & don’t like.

So we started our research & 3-4 years later had the sick trees removed to install these!

4th House on the Right

They are still babies but we absolutely LOVE them already! Here’s one of the best things about these trees…

How To Care For Crepe Myrtle Trees

  1. Do NOT prune. Crepes require no pruning so why do we see so many folks lopping off the tops every year? Either they just don’t know or they are trying to keep the size in check. Some varieties can get pretty big – ours will get to about 20′ tall. The only pruning we do is of the suckers, low growing stems, & branches that rub each other – removing the weaker branch.
  2. Watering – nothing special to do here. When we first put them in, we watered deeply to help the roots get established. Now they get watered whenever the rest of the yard does.
  3. Same with soil. We didn’t do anything special when they went in & I haven’t even fertilized them yet. They did great last year with none so we’ll see how this year goes before we decide to do anything different.

I haven’t noticed any issues with pests or disease yet either. Fingers crossed we don’t have any of those problems. That’s the worst.

And honestly that’s about it. I haven’t bothered with trying to force more blooms because they get plenty. The empty seed pods don’t bother me so I don’t trim those either.

Adding them to our front yard made a HUGE difference in so many ways. The biggest impact has got to be individuality!

We live in a master planned community. There can be multiple version of the same house on the same street. AND all the homes are required to have the same number & type of trees & shrubs based on the lot size.

That means that there’s very little individuality on the block. And since most homeowners choose not to alter the exterior of their homes too much, it can all start to look… well… boring.

There I said it. It gets a little boring.

Plus, I’m a total non-conformist. So there’s that. AND you can even see the house much better! What’s not to love?!

We did a lot of research before we replaced our trees with these Crepe Myrtles. A LOT. We wanted something beautiful & easy care that fell within the master plant list for the neighborhood.

We also wanted it to be unique. These are Dynamite Red or Black Diamond Red – honestly I can’t remember. I just know that I had to have them because even though there’s Crepe Myrtle trees everywhere in the South, I hadn’t seen these before. The color of both the flowers and the foliage is amazing!

So if you’re looking to add or replace some trees in your landscape, you might give crepe myrtles a thought. They don’t produce food but eye candy is important too right?

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